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Geraint Thomas’ Tour de France trophy stolen

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PARIS — Team Sky says the Tour de France trophy won by Geraint Thomas has been stolen from a cycling show in Britain.

The team says police are investigating after the trophy disappeared during an event in Birmingham, where Team Sky displayed the three Grand Tour trophies won by its riders.

In addition to this year’s Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, a rider for Sky also claimed the 2017 Spanish Vuelta title.

Sky says “regrettably, during the clear-up operation at the end of the event, Geraint Thomas’s Tour de France trophy was momentarily left unattended and stolen.”

Thomas, who won his first Grand Tour title this year, asked the thieves to return the trophy.

Thomas says “it is incredibly unfortunate that this has happened. It goes without saying that the trophy is of pretty limited value to whoever took it, but means a lot to me and to the team. Hopefully whoever took it will have the good grace to return it.”

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Great Britain plans to enter Olympic women’s soccer qualifying

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Great Britain hopes to qualify an Olympic women’s soccer team for the first time, potentially adding a medal threat to the Tokyo Games field.

Olympic soccer is problematic for Great Britain, given its individual nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland field separate teams in FIFA play.

But FIFA said Monday it received written confirmation from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland’s soccer federations confirming the intent for a Team GB in women’s soccer only.

Great Britain has entered soccer teams in one Olympics in the last 50 years — when it hosted at London 2012 and thus didn’t have to qualify — and last tried Olympic men’s qualifying for the 1972 Munich Games.

The top three European nations at the 2019 World Cup qualify for the Olympics.

Team GB’s hopes rest on England, which would have qualified for the Rio Games had a Team GB agreement been reached. It finished fourth at the 2015 World Cup and again made the semifinals of Euro 2017 and is ranked No. 3 in the world behind the U.S. and Germany.

The British women’s team — with all English players save two Scots — beat Brazil at London 2012 before falling to Canada in the quarterfinals.

The English women have since moved up from No. 9 in the world and introduced talents like defender Lucy Bronze (sixth in FIFA Player of the Year voting) and striker Jodie Taylor (Euro 2017 Golden Boot winner).

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Geraint Thomas stays with Team Sky after Tour de France title

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LONDON (AP) — Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract with Team Sky.

The 32-year-old Thomas, whose previous deal was set to expire at the end of 2018, had been the subject of interest from other teams.

However, the Welshman has decided to stay with the British team and is now contracted through to the 2021 season.

“I’m pleased it’s sorted and delighted to be staying with the team,” Thomas told Team Sky. “It’s working really well for me here and I’m excited about what’s still to come.”

Thomas, who picked up Olympic gold medals in team pursuit in 2008 and 2012, finally triumphed at this year’s Tour de France, having spent much of his career playing a supporting role to the likes of former champions Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

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